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F-104 the "Widowmaker" [Mythbusting]


molnibalage
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On 12/23/2021 at 8:27 PM, Domus Acipenseris said:

I found this article that attempts to change the reputation of the F-104.

 

http://www.916-starfighter.de/Joy of High Tech.htm

 

Without the electronics to tell the pilot he's being engaged by SAMs I do not see the 104 being able to fight in Vietnam.

 

When the US Navy went to war in Vietnam, the F-4B did not have a way to detect SAMs either,  until the aircrews started buying a commercial radar detector, called the " Fuzz Buster". Lots of Radar guns used the same frequency as the Russian missle sets.  To hear its feedback from the FB, they ran single inside the ear speaker, under the rest of their flight gear.  It did not give them the direction of the missle, but they at least knew they were coming. 

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On 12/24/2021 at 5:27 AM, Domus Acipenseris said:

I found this article that attempts to change the reputation of the F-104.

 

http://www.916-starfighter.de/Joy of High Tech.htm

 

Without the electronics to tell the pilot he's being engaged by SAMs I do not see the 104 being able to fight in Vietnam.

In Vietnam not only because of the lack of RWR was the issue.

Check the loadouts of F-105, A-6, A-4, A-7, F-4s and other planes what carried and from where.

 

The range + loadout for the F-104 was simply not in the scale what US demanded. They built large and expensive plane to themselves compared to rest of the world in the '60s.

The smaller F-104, A-4 and other planes were just heritage of the past. Until the F-16 I cannot recall any US supersonic fighter which was under 10 tons empty weight.

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